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Calendula (pronounced /kəˈlɛndjuːlə/ Ca-lén-du-la),[1] pot marigold, is a genus of about 12–20 species of annual or perennial herbaceous plants in the daisy family Asteraceae, native to the area from Macaronesia east through the Mediterranean region to Iran. Calendula should not be confused with other plants that are also known as marigolds, such as corn marigold, desert marigold, or marsh marigold or plants of the genus Tagetes.

The name Calendula stems from the Latin kalendae, meaning first day of the month, presumably because pot marigolds are in bloom at the start of most months of the year. The common name marigold probably refers to the Virgin Mary, or its old Saxon name 'ymbglidegold', which means 'it turns with the sun'.

The most commonly cultivated and used member of the genus is the pot marigold (Calendula officinalis).



The flowers of Calendula officinalis contain flavonol glycosides, triterpene oligoglycosides, oleanane-type triterpene glycosides, saponins, and a sesquiterpene glucoside.[2][3]

Medicinal effects

Plant pharmacological studies have suggested that Calendula extracts have anti-viral, anti-genotoxic and anti-inflammatory properties.[4] Calendula in suspension or in tincture is used topically to treat acne, reducing inflammation, controlling bleeding and soothing irritated tissue.[5][6] There is "limited evidence" that calendula cream or ointment is effective in treating radiation dermatitis.[7][8] In a randomized study of 254 radiation patients, topical application of 4% calendula ointment resulted in far fewer occurrences of Grade 2 or higher dermatitis than occurred in the group using trolamine. Calendula users also experienced less radiation-induced pain and fewer breaks in treatment.[9]

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